Kahn out, Flip Saunders will be your new Timberwolves GM
- Blog Post by: Jerry Zgoda
- May 2, 2013 - 4:02 PM
David Kahn's contract has not been renewed and the Wolves will replace him with, as expected, former Wolves coach Flip Saunders as president of basketball operations, team and league sources said this afternoon.
The team officially announced Kahn will not be back, but hasn't yet announced Saunders' hiring.
An introductory press conference likely will come Friday.
In the release announcing Kahn's contract option will not be picked up, team owner Glen Taylor said,
"We want to thank David for all of his efforts the past four years with our basketball team. These are always difficult decisions, but at this time, we believe it is in the best interest of our organization to make a change. We wish David all the best in the future."
No official word yet on coach Rick Adelman's future, although it's expected he will return next season.
Kahn was hired in May 2009 to replace Kevin McHale as the team's top basketball decision maker. In those four years, he drafted and brought to Minnesota point guard Ricky Rubio and pursued Adelman for months before the team signed him in September 2011. His time here also included failed lottery picks Jonny Flynn (6th overall in 2009), Wes Johnson (4th overall in 2010) as well as failed experiments with such young players he acquired as Michael Beasley, Darko Milicic, Anthony Randolph and Martell Webster.
Saunders coached the Wolves for nearly 10 seasons, from 1995 to 2005, before being fired midway through the 2004-05 season.
He also coached Detroit and Washington, most recently with the Wizards in 2012 and has been doing commentary work for ESPN this season.
Saunders, by the way, was the last -- and only -- Wolves coach to lead the team to the playoffs, back in that 2004 playoff run that lead to the Western Conference playoffs.
Kahn was hired after the team interviewed other candidates -- San Antonio exec Dennis Lindsey (now Utah's GM), former NBA coach/exec Randy Pfund, Portland assistant GM Tom Penn -- to replace McHale, who had finished the 2008-09 season as the team's coach after he had fired Randy Wittman.
Kahn deliberated for a month before deciding not to bring McHale back as coach. He traded Mike Miller and Randy Foye to Washington for the fifth overall pick in the 2009 draft, then used that pick to draft Ricky Rubio and the Wolves' own sixth overall pick to take point guard Flynn.
Six weeks later, he hired Kurt Rambis to coach the team with a system that did not emphasize the point-guard position.
Kahn fired Rambis after two seasons and patiently pursued Adelman for at least three months before getting him to agree to coach the team.
© 2013 Star Tribune